How To Confess Sins
How is “confession good for the soul?” What is Biblical confession of sins?
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Sin separates you from having a fellowship with God. “Sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4) It includes giving in to temptation. (James 1:13-15) Refusing to do what is right. “…whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17) Even “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23) And “sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:15)
If this is true, there aren’t just “seven deadly sins,” are there? All sin is “mortal!” Classifying sins only hides that fact. We’ve all done and thought things that would make us God’s enemy: “On account of these the wrath of God is coming.” (Colossians 3:6) How can we get right with God again?
For the answer to that question, why go anywhere else but God’s Word? Keep reading for what God Himself tells us about sin and how to confess it.
Don’t hide or make excuses for your sins
What happened in Genesis 3 when the first people sinned? They hid from God. They blamed one another (and God). They tried to cover their shame. The temptation was a cruel betrayal. It brought ruin to their relationship with each other and with God. It also made us, their descendants, think and act the same way. We fool ourselves (Galatians 6:7) when we think we can hide, shift blame or minimize sin. It is always found out (Numbers 32:23). God promises, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
Confess your sins directly to God
God created us for His own glory. (Isaiah 43:7) When we fall short of it, He is the first One Who is offended.(Psalm 51) You may fear His displeasure and His great holiness. But remember what Jesus did for you. Remember where He is now: “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
After God, don’t forget anyone else you have offended. Confess to them and restore those relationships also. (Matthew 5:21-24)
Agree with God’s opinion of your sins
Adam and Eve were tricked into thinking God was keeping something good from them. (Genesis 3:1-2) This set them up to fall into direct disobedience. Hiding, covering up and shifting blame shows how little we think of sin, God’s wisdom, and God’s power. We can be tricked, but it’s a big mistake to think God is like that. (Psalm 50:16-23)
Faith will take us in a different direction. (Hebrews 11:6) Not only is God great, He is good to you. “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11) Keeping this in mind helps us see how a sin started. As soon as you recognize a sin as sin, confess it in a simple prayer to God. Ask God to show you the whole picture. (Psalm 139:23) How would your holy, loving, all-knowing Father describe it? Learn to see sin the way He does.
Agree also about forgiveness
Finally and most importantly, leave the guilt behind you. Our scripture appears in a section of 1 John reminding us of God’s love for His children. John says it is written “so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1:4) How can sin grieve us enough that we humbly confess it, but still leave us in complete joy? Because of what follows:
“…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 1:5-2:1)
God promises to forgive and cleanse us when we confess and forsake sin. Jesus Himself represents God’s children before the Father, in all His righteousness. Are you a child of God? Take a moment to let God search your heart for unconfessed sin and confess it for restored fellowship with Him. It is the only way you can “walk in the light” with Him. Once you have done this, be assured that He has kept His promise, and rejoice in the peace and fellowship that is yours!
Do you lack peace? Are you unsure if you are God’s child? Ask Jesus for forgiveness to be certain your sins are all forgiven!
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” (Romans 4:7-8/ Psalm 32:1-2)
Pray this week:
Holy Spirit, search my heart and reveal everything that keeps me from close fellowship with God. Father, show it to me for what it really is. Lord Jesus, thank you for what You did, and for Your mercy available to me.
Is confession hard for you? Click below to share your struggles with a caring follower of Jesus.